Posé: A pause or rest stop along the Voyageurs' portage trail. Usually about ½ mile apart. We invite you to take a pause in your day to reflect and pray with us.
"God's Great Northwoods"
They are like trees planted by streams of water, which yield their fruit in its season, and their leaves do not wither. In all that they do, they prosper. (Psalm 1:3, NRSV)
Many have been commenting about the intensity and brevity of the fall colors this year--especially the vivid yellows of the tamarack trees already carpeting the ground for winter. Tamaracks get their name from the Algonquin word that means "wood used for snowshoes"-tough, flexible and rot-resistant. But native peoples discovered long ago that the inner bark of tamaracks also had healing qualities for treating cuts, infected wounds, even frostbite. In mineral soils like we have on the Iron Range, tamaracks are typically seen in mixed stands with black spruce; side by side, the trees accentuate one another's traits. In contrast to their gracious, praiseworthy counterparts, black spruces are scruffy and narrow, with shallow roots, grayish brown bark, pointy crowns and droopy branches. I imagine Christ was hung on just such a tree...just as I imagine that early Easter sunrise must have piqued the tamaracks to glory in whorls of fear and great joy, eager to cover the earth with their golden news.
Naturally, this harvest time of year, our thoughts circle round to giving thanks for the mysteries our triune God gives us: the love that grounds our faith; the hope that love never dies; the confidence that we are loved. "We don't yet see things clearly. We're squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won't be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We'll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! But for right now, until that completeness, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly, love extravagantly. And the best of the three is love." (1Corinthians 13:12-13, The Message)
And God is able to provide you with every blessing in abundance, so that by always having enough of everything, you may share abundantly in every good work. (2Corinthians 9:8, NRSV)
"Like trees [of a boreal forest] planted by streams of water..."-the triune blessings of faith, hope and love flow to us in abundance, sufficient for yielding fruit in due season as God so graciously prospers us to do. "For we are what he has made us, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand to be our way of life." (Ephesians 2:10, NRSV) Just so we stand as sinner-saints in God's great northwoods-black spruces and tamaracks in symbiotic mission-a baptismal mystery, really: to work out a new creation in Christ with fear and great joy.
-Pastor Krehl Stringer
Faith United Lutheran Church